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Labor Relations in Coal Mining

February 2, 1945

Report Outline
Impending Expiration of Coal Wage Contracts
Past Labor Struggles in Coal Fields
Miners' Strikes During World War II
Postwar Stabilization of the Coal Industry
Special Focus

Impending Expiration of Coal Wage Contracts

Present wage contracts in the bituminous coal fields will expire Mar. 31, 1945. The wage scale policy committee of the United Mine Workers will meet Feb. 26 to formulate the union's demands. The ensuing negotiations for a new wage contract will afford opportunity for joint consideration by representatives of the union and the operators of the situation that will confront the bituminous industry when the war comes to an end.

Under the leadership of John L. Lewis, the United Mine Workers have extended the union shop during recent years to every coal mine in the country. On the surface, the union would appear to be in a stronger position to enforce its demands than ever before. Lewis regards the no-strike pledge as “not necessarily binding” upon the U. M. W.; he allowed four industry-wide stoppages to take place during 1943. One result of the failure to reach a prompt agreement on a new wage contract in 1943 was adoption by Congress of the Smith-Connally War Labor Disputes Act. Under that act the President holds authority to take the mines over for government operation in case of a threatened interruption to the flow of coal for war industries.

With the war at a critical stage, and both operators and miners anxious to obtain favorable action by Congress on legislation to stabilize production, prices and wages in the bituminous industry after the cessation of hostilities, it is believed that an earnest effort will be made on both sides to reach a satisfactory agreement through collective bargaining. Since the new contract signed in 1945 will probably extend beyond the close of the war, the organized miners are expected to lay principal stress upon job protections and maintenance of present “take-home” pay during the period of reconversion, rather than a new boost in basic wage rates. The operators, on their part, will be loath to grant concessions which would further increase their costs of production and thus hamper bituminous in its competition with other sources of heat and power when markets return to normal.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Labor Unions
Sep. 02, 2005  Labor Unions' FutureUpdated
Jun. 28, 1996  Labor Movement's Future
Jun. 14, 1985  Organized Labor in the 1980s
Nov. 06, 1981  Labor Under Siege
Mar. 24, 1978  Labor's Southern Strategy
Aug. 20, 1976  Labor's Options
Oct. 27, 1971  Organized Labor After the Freeze
Oct. 19, 1966  Labor Strife and the Public Interest
Jan. 30, 1963  Strike Action and the Law
Sep. 20, 1961  Conflicts in Organized Labor
Aug. 04, 1960  Labor, Management, and the National Interest
Dec. 16, 1959  Future of Free Collective Bargaining
Nov. 04, 1959  Featherbedding and Union Work Rules
Feb. 18, 1959  Public Intervention in Labor Disputes
Jul. 09, 1958  Suits Against Labor Unions
Nov. 13, 1957  Right-To-Work Laws
Oct. 31, 1956  Union Organizing
May 01, 1954  State Powers in Labor Relations
Oct. 02, 1953  Toward Labor Unity
Apr. 11, 1953  Industry-Wide Bargaining and Industry-Wide Strikes
Sep. 03, 1952  Labor and Politics
Mar. 25, 1950  Labor Injunctions
Jan. 25, 1950  Trade Unions and Productivity
Sep. 26, 1949  Fact-Finding Boards in Labor Disputes
Mar. 05, 1949  Closed Shop
Dec. 01, 1948  Revision of the Taft-Hartley Act
Jan. 01, 1947  Labor Unions, the Public and the Law
Oct. 09, 1946  Revision of the Wagner Act
Sep. 25, 1946  Labor Productivity
May 29, 1946  Labor Organization in the South
Jan. 30, 1946  Compulsory Settlement of Labor Disputes
May 18, 1945  Labor Policy After the War
Mar. 29, 1945  Union Maintenance
Feb. 02, 1945  Labor Relations in Coal Mining
Oct. 12, 1944  No-Strike Pledge
Sep. 16, 1944  Political Action by Organized Labor
May 30, 1944  Unionization of Foremen
Apr. 01, 1944  Dismissal Pay
Apr. 29, 1943  Labor in Government
Apr. 09, 1943  Public Regulation of Trade Unions
Nov. 19, 1941  Labor Policies of the Roosevelt Administration
Oct. 23, 1941  Closed Shop Issue in Labor Relations
Mar. 29, 1941  Labor as Partner in Production
Feb. 12, 1941  Labor and the Defense Program
Feb. 23, 1940  Labor in Politics
Jan. 17, 1939  Settlement of Disputes Between Labor Unions
Jul. 01, 1938  Three Years of National Labor Relations Act
Nov. 12, 1937  State Regulation of Labor Relations
Jul. 10, 1937  Restrictions on the Right to Strike
Apr. 28, 1937  The Labor Market and the Unemployed
Mar. 26, 1937  Control of the Sit-Down Strike
Mar. 13, 1937  Collective Bargaining in the Soft-Coal Industry
Jan. 22, 1937  Responsibility of Labor Unions
Nov. 11, 1936  Industrial Unionism and the A.F. of L.
Jul. 30, 1936  Federal Intervention in Labor Disputes
Jul. 14, 1936  Labor Relations in the Steel Industry
Apr. 17, 1934  Company Unions and Collective Bargaining
Feb. 07, 1934  Settlement of Labor Disputes
Sep. 12, 1933  Trade Unionism Under the Recovery Program
Feb. 17, 1932  Wage Concessions by Trade Unions
Oct. 01, 1929  Status of the American Labor Movement
Jul. 20, 1929  Trade Unionism in the South
Aug. 31, 1928  Organized Labor in National Politics
Feb. 04, 1928  The Use of Injunctions in Labor Disputes
Sep. 09, 1927  Organized Labor and the Works Council Movement
Oct. 12, 1923  The A.F. of L. and the “New Radicalism”
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Coal
Unions and Labor-Management Relations
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